Wisconsin lost 47 dairy farms in August, putting the state on pace for its worst year since 2013.
The latest data from the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection shows there were 8,372 licensed dairy producers at the beginning of September. That’s 429 fewer than were licensed at the start of the year.
It’s the biggest decline since 2013, when the state lost 434 farms in the first eight months of the year.
Mike North, president of the Dairy Business Association, said it's not surprising given the current market and long-term trend toward consolidation in the industry.
North said recent price reactions to new tariffs on United States dairy products have definitely motivated some farmers to leave the industry early this year.
But Shelly Mayer, executive director of Professional Dairy Producers, said low milk prices for more than three years just became too much for some farms.
But both Mayer and North say retirement and the absence of a successor to take over the farm are also part of the reasons Wisconsin has fewer dairy farms.
Read the full article from Wisconsin Public Radio.